This Retractable Awning Is an Easy Way to Make Your Patio More Pleasant

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We tried this affordable retractable awning to provide shade both indoors and out.

As another summer winds down, anyone with a backyard sparse with tree cover knows how unbearable it can be.

The heat can have a significant effect not only outside, but also inside, especially in rooms with south-facing windows. In addition to the higher energy costs, bright, direct sunlight can bleach furniture, decor, and floors in rooms with direct exposure.

One of my high school friends and her family encountered this exact issue with a backyard flooded with direct sunlight that made it hard to maintain the lawn, let alone organize a backyard cookout or children’s birthday party. The Outsunny Retractable Awning was a clear option for addressing the issues, and I jumped at the chance to help out.

What Is The Outsunny Retractable Awning?

The Outsunny retractable awning is a 13 x 8-foot awning with a manual crank handle. The UV and water-resistant fabric awning features a powder-coated steel and aluminum frame and roller, and a 58.5-inch long hand crank that makes opening and adjusting it easy.

Outsunny Awnings come in a variety of sizes and colors, and they can be easily installed on concrete, brick, or wood surfaces.

The coffee colored awning arrived in a smaller-than-expected 5-foot box that weighed about 50 pounds. Inside, between the white steel frame parts, individually wrapped in plastic, and the folded fabric canopy are an instruction manual and four small boxes containing hardware. As I unwrapped the parts, many had small scratches and dents, likely from their journey from the factory in China. Despite my dissatisfaction with the condition, there is nothing structurally problematic, and though sad, probably what I should have expected for a sub-$300 awning.

How We Tested It

Using the basic tools listed in the manual, I began assembling the awning on sawhorses in the driveway. Assembling the awning on my own took about 90 minutes because of the lengthy 13-foot pieces that needed to be carefully flipped, twisted, and spun to fit together. It didn’t help that the instructions themselves were vague and difficult to follow at times, but after carefully studying the assembly diagrams, it was together and ready to hang.

Hanging the three brackets required some thought. Outsunny Retractable Awnings are recommended to be hung anywhere between 8 and 13 feet high. However, since we were also trying to prevent direct sunlight from flooding the family room windows, we chose 10.5 feet as our installation height to ensure that the crank style windows still functioned.

We began looking for studs in the 1970’s wood-framed exterior wall. This took some time since the studs were under the wood siding and buffalo board, but six lags later, the brackets were hung and the awning ready to go up.

A second set of hands, along with another ladder, were gathered to get the 13-foot long awning up on its brackets. Once in place, three bolts were secured, a couple of tilting adjustments made, and the Outsunny Retractable Awning was complete.

The awning is beautiful, foolproof to use, tightly packs away when not in action, and provides plenty of shade. However, I was surprised by how noisy it is when rolling it up and down and by how vulnerable the awning itself felt compared to its more durable components.

I am glad we decided to hang it at 10.5 feet rather than any higher. In spite of my nearly 6-foot height and a crank arm of 58.5 inches, rolling the awning at the current height is uncomfortable; it would be unfathomable if it were higher.

Pros

  • Provides shade inside and out;
  • Inexpensive;
  • Looks great;
  • Easy to assemble, install, and use;
  • Neatly rolls up.

Cons

  • Pieces came scratched and dented;
  • Noisy to roll up/down;
  • Lightweight;
  • Short crank arm if you hang it high.

FAQ

Q: Can the awning’s angle be adjusted?

A: Yes, it is possible to adjust the pitch by tightening/loosening the bolts at the base of the arms.

Q: Is there a manufacturer’s warranty on the product?

A: The manufacturer provides a one-year warranty. Outsunny’s warranty terms and policies can be found at www.aosom.com.

Q: Is there an Outsunny video to show the assembly and installation process?

A: Outsunny has not produced any, though there are a few user generated videos on YouTube.

What Others Had To Say

Ann F seemed to stuggle with the instructions a bit too, saying “Looks good but a bit [of] a struggle to put together. The shade works great once we finally got it together.” in her five-star review on Amazon.  And, verified purchaser and Arizona resident Lillian writes “…The weather has been over 110 for over a week now with no sign of cooling down. This awning has been a lifesaver. It looks great when open and closes up tight able to withstand our high winds. Definitely a great buy.” in her Wayfair.com review.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a retractable awning, then the Outsunny Retractable Awning is a worthy option. Its ease of use, affordability, and out of the way nature can make your home more comfortable both inside and out. Make sure you have a helper available to assist with the installation; perhaps a cold beverage under your completed awning can motivate them to lend a hand.

Where to Buy

Outsunny Awningvia merchant

Outsunny Retractable Awnings are available from Amazon and Wayfair.

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Ethan O'Donnell
Ethan is Family Handyman’s go-to editor for finding and testing the latest and greatest products, tools, and gear in the DIY space. Ethan has experience building custom woodwork, sets, props, and exhibits. Over the course of his career, he has completed projects for several Fortune 500 companies as well as for the United States Park Service. During his spare time, he likes to ride anything on two wheels, read, draw, or spend time with friends discussing recent Formula 1 events.